The Babadook - Interview: director Jennifer Kent & actress Essie Davis


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In the suburban horror film The Babadook, distraught single mother Amelia (Essie Davis) tries caring for her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) while coping with the emotionally devastating loss of her husband. As her depression deepens, she begins sensing the presence of a boogeyman called The Babadook, the creepy character from a book in Samuel's room. Consequently, she becomes more and more unhinged. Best-known for her performance as glamorous socialite detective Phryne Fisher in the hit series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Essie Davis has a extensive CV that crosses film, TV and theatre. She appeared in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Girl with the Pearl Earring, Australia, Cloudstreet and The Slap. Director Jennifer Kent was an actress for more than 20 years, appearing in such shows as All Saints and Murder Call. She met Davis while attending the National Institute of Dramatic Arts 24 years ago. The Babadook is her first feature film as a director. Made on a shoe-string budget, The Babadook has received critical acclaim on the overseas festival circuit. A hit at Sundance and Berlin, the film has sold to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, the UK and America. The Japanese release is still being negotiated. "It was a surreal and fantastic experience," Kent says. Here they discuss the gothic nature of the film, the process that transformed the normally photogenic face of Davis into that of a lost woman - sleep deprivation helps - and what inspired Kent to make a horror movie as her first film venture. Davis also reflects on why TV services the talents and strengths of women better than mainstream film while Kent explains how the best audience films are made by not thinking about the audience.



Chris Stuckmann
Every single thing these women are saying is what anyone making a horror film needs to hear. Brilliant work and major appreciation to these ladies.
FilthyCasualKai
THIS IS THE PERSON THAT NEEDS CREATIVE CONTROL OVER A SILENT HILL MOVIE.
Waleed Khan
I can go on and on about how terrific this film is. These two are geniuses, goddamn I'm so excited to see what Kent does next. It's clear she actually gives a shit about making a great movie experience. Essie Davis too, IMO she was toe to toe with Jack Nicholson's performance in The Shining.
Andy Claus
You can tell how passionate Essie Davis was with playing this role - she seems on the verge of tears when she talks about it. Amazing performance, and an amazing actress. I love this movie.
Mark Jones
This movie scared the shit out of me
Sicilian Princess
no, no sequel its a specific person who created the Babadook, the mother.
Parkway South
It's unfortunate that the American movie industry is so unwavering that it takes a movie made half-way around the world to spark a much-needed debate about the progression of story in film, ESPECIALLY horror film. I've always said that a genre decision should always be based on what would tell the story best.  My point being: When I watched this with my family, they were all confused asking typical American questions like "So, its a spirit? So, it's a demon? So, she just went crazy?" and I simply answered "No. It's grief" They still didn't understand. It's just sad that the horror genre has had such terrible movies made simply for a shock factor that when a movie comes along like this that is not only scary, but its ABOUT something scary, many audience members are lost in its meaning. Thank you for making this movie. It inspires me to write the horror story that is among many stories in my mind. 
Yanurul Anwar
I love this movie. It's not typical horror movie with jump scare or gore, but I fear and worried for both characters throughout the movie. The movie keep me on the edge with sound and atmosphere but most of all from the relation between the mother and his son as the movie unfold. And that is the scary part. You will understand it if you watch it.
Martin Lennon
Very good. Plot and Story!. Story of Mother and Son being the story. There was two walk outs which is understandable. Good Movie. Well done all. More movie makers can be inspired to make plot and story movies and make it happen.
imtv
"Suburban Gothic" perfect description!
Victor Mathieu
This is the best horror film in years. Jennifer put a tremendous amount of thought and work into detail and it all paid off amazingly well. And Essie was sublime in that role. This is an instant classic and an inspiration to any horror filmmakers around the world. Thank you for raising the bar!
AudiTheKNIGHT
When that demon said BABADOOK Man my body became numb and i hid in my blanket. So cool film. I want a sequel of this film
Arun Iyer
One of the best horror movies. Class apart.
LittleMonsterMan93
I loved the metaphorical quality to this movie. Such a refreshing take on the horror genre. 
Rolf Skytte Jensen
Sweet wonderful movie!!!
Johan Gaard Lauridsen
this is the best movie in horror history. Some would argue that classics like phsyco, friday 13th or poltergeist beats it but this they just cant compete cause this is not a real horror movie this is perfection.
Nilly K
Why....  the hell?!  LOL
Samad Syed
Yo when the monster said Baaaabaaadooook I hid under the blanket.
Daniel Plainview
She said something I hear a lot of non-american filmmakers say - that american studios dont think their audiences are smart.  Steve McQueen said something similar.  I completely agree.  American horror is dead in my opinion.  I get really depressed when I'm at the movies and see trailers for these run of the mill horror films they continue to put out.  I loved the Babadook.  It was so nice to see a scary movie that actually was about something.  I'm not a pretentious movie watcher, I just want something different for once.  I look forward to what Jennifer Kent will put out in the future.
Samad Syed
This movie scared the living shit out of me.
Alfie 987
I hope Jennifer Kent makes another horror movie.
Niki D.
I can't understand why people don't know much about directors like these, which are actually making a high quality movies who stand out from the rest of the competition. Instead they go and support with there money a crapy, cheesy, with an "overcomplicated plots"(for dummies) and a lot of jumpscares movies which take you out from the actual movie completely. Chris Stuckmann brought me here and I am glad he did.
Liberal Land
I hope to see more horror flicks from both of them. Babdook is one hell of a creep fest! Go watch it's on Netflix!
Feels
This movie has some major flaws but I enjoyed it. The stock sounds used for the creature bug me so much. The Godzilla/Resident Evil GRAAAHHHUUH roar it uses.. It made me cringe. The creature itself could've been much better. Obviously the child actor was terrible but it's not really fair to criticize that now is it. Essie Davis is an amazing actor and she carries this movie so hard. She is just incredible. I love her.
jmcieslak0
Jennifer Kent is so smart
Rizan Najumudeen
Anyone knows Director Jennifer Kent email iD
6Four6 Films
Essie Davis is an amazing actress!
jenny reyes
Noah Wiseman great actor
Jacob Sleiman
An unsettling movie in the best way possible.
Dave McKay
these women know what they're doing.
Meredith Young
can't sleep. Babadook will eat me.
Dani3po
Best horror movie I have watched in a long time. Amazing monster and terrific performances.
teletubees
great movie
In His Image
I usually have ZERO interest in horror but i really want to see this.